SHOPS in Hampshire have seen a rise in shoplifting over the past year with the county one of the worst in the UK, new figures have revealed.

The statistics show that in the 12 months to April, Hampshire Constabulary saw an eight per cent increase to 13,590 recorded incidents.

As a result, the police force ranks seventh in the country for the level of shoplifting, the Metropolitan Police Service topping the table with more than 46,000 incidents.

The figures have been released by online marketplace and

Responding to the news, Chief Inspector Patrick Holdaway said: “Hampshire Constabulary is a committed member and supporter of a dedicated ‘Safer Hampshire Business Partnership’, which brings together expertise from professionals working in private companies, the public sector, charities and trade associations.

“This partnership meets regularly to analyse, discuss and recommend tactics for dealing with a wide range of business crimes, including shoplifting, which we recognise can have distressing effects, both on the finances of a business and the wellbeing of employees.

“We also share information with national retailers and other police forces to ensure consistency and best practice.

“Building a stronger relationship between police and businesses by combining our skills and insights is a crucial focus for our work and we will continue to do this to tackle all aspects of business crime.”

He added: “We encourage businesses to report every incident of shoplifting to us.”

Overall, 378,725 shoplifting incidents were recorded over the 12-month period, marking a four per cent increase.

Cas Paton, managing director of, said: “The findings from this research are intriguing. With the overall number of shoplifting incidents increasing from the previous year, it’s a crime which is financially burdening retailers.

“It’s unfortunate because many owners spend a lot of time, money and energy ensuring all aspects of their operations are running effectively and efficiently.”

“Whilst shoplifting may seem difficult to prevent, there are certain cost-effective precautions retailers can take to deter shoplifters from targeting them. Precautions such as training employees to identify the behaviours associated with shoplifters and appropriate signage to warn potential offenders about the seriousness of the matter.”